Last week we discussed the ministry of the church, which through the presentation of the Gospel provides an opportunity for repair vertically and horizontally.
First, with God by accepting God’s love and the gift of salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Secondly, once this secure attachment is complete, we are surrounded by grace in which we are free to grow in our new found relationship with Him and with others.
Once the repair with God is made secure, our basic immaturities, sinful patterns, insecurities, emotional and relational inadequacies are still in place.
I sure wish God would erase my C drive… clean the whole thing off and give my mind a clean slate. But alas He does not.
He changes my positional standing before Him but he leaves the practical growth and maturity to take place over time.
God actually uses “child development” language to describe our growth and stages toward maturity as a Christian.
- Born Again: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).’”
- Newborn Babe: “… like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the
Word, that by it you may grow in respect to your salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord (I Peter 2:2-3).”
- Children: “… we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ (Ephesians 4:14-15).”
- Young Men: “…I am writing to you young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you and you have overcome the evil one [Satan] (I John 2:14).”
- Fathers: “I have written to you fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning (I John 2:14).”
How curious it is that as God’s Word describes our adoption into a new family of origin (FOO #4), the church, He describes a growth and maturity process in which He sees the Christian believer as a growing child.
Just like a human father, I’m sure he loves to watch all of the new steps of exploration, and growth in which the mind of the believer goes through a process of transformation… from worldly minded to heavenly minded, from selfish to loving, from impulsive to impressive.
Which developmental stage best describes you?
Thanks for listening, and have a wonderful Christmas celebration.
Love and blessings,
Milan & Kay